The European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly this year was possibly the best ever. Over 11,000 attendees from 95 countries and I never saw so many posters, 9092 in total and changed every day. We had a lot of scientists visiting the Kipp & Zonen booth to discuss current and future projects. Many of them are already satisfied users of our instruments and there were some novel applications that we will feature in future Newsletters.
Vienna was its usual stylish and hospitable self and the weather steadily improved. When setting up the booth on Sunday evening it was about 10°C and drizzling. By Friday it was bright sunshine and heading for 30 degrees over the long weekend break (Tuesday the 1st of May is a national holiday in Austria).
Climate change and greenhouse gasses
A major interest at EGU is quantifying the effects of climate change and greenhouse gasses on the environment. There is a particular concentration of scientific research programmes in the Arctic, Antarctic and over snow and ice fields and glaciers. This is because many of the effects are most severe in these regions and show up more quickly.
Not all of this is due to climate change, of course. For example volcanic ash, dust, pollutants, and other particles falling on snow and ice makes it less reflective, so it absorbs more solar radiation and melts more quickly. Kipp & Zonen CMA albedometers and the CNR 4 net radiometer are ideal for these types of field studies.
Another theme of the EGU is related to the energy balance between the sun, sky and ground. Key elements here are heat fluxes and evapotranspiration (ET), so there was a lot of interest in our new Large Aperture Scintillometer (LAS MkII) which is designed to monitor these parameters over path lengths up to 4.5 km.
It was a great week, meeting existing and new customers from around the world, and we will be back next year from the 7th to the 12th of April 2013.